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Feature request: deterministic tray icon order #3573
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[ ] Bug [x] Feature Request [ ] Documentation Request [ ] Other (Please describe in detail)
System tray icon order is nondeterministic. It appears that new icons are usually added at the right, but applications executed on startup often race and put their icons in a different order each time, and restarting i3/i3bar causes all icons to be jumbled randomly.
Icons should be ordered in a predictable way.
Unity has this behaviour; it's not possible to reorder icons, but the same icons will always be placed in the same order (the order appears to be based partially on the icon category – "hardware" icons at the far-right, then "system services" and "communications", and "application" icons at the far-left).
#749 asks for a way to configure the order, and was closed because it's too much effort for little gain. Presumably making the order deterministic (but not configurable) would be less work, but the gain would not be much less – I don't really care much what order the icons end up in, it's just irritating to have to search through them every time I want to check the status of some application.
If there's a good idea of how to achieve this that doesn't involve adding configuration, I think there's no reason not to do it.
You mentioned categories, but off the top of my head I'm not aware of how such information is exposed. So we'd need a proper proposal that suggests a specific, available piece of information to use.
(And no, keeping a list of known tray apps isn't a good idea... :-))